As complex, rollercoaster climate change alters life on this planet, we will confront new and unforeseen challenges. Some problems we can anticipate such as reduced food supply and further reductions of biodiversity. We’ve encountered higher, more fatal flooding incidents as a result of decreased biomass, as well as drought. But other symptoms of global warming, such as the new tide of insect infestations in the UAE, may seem less dramatic and less obvious. Could rising temperatures in the United Arab Emirates be the cause of a new tide of insect infestations?
5 MM Long Bed Bugs Are Bitin’
Megan Detrie from The National reports that a new strain of bed bugs has infiltrated the United Arab Emirates. Only 5mm long, they hitch a ride into people’s homes via clothing and personal items, and then stake out in beds, paintings, wall sockets, and essentially any other elusive, dark place.
The bugs are more active during the summer due to the heat and humidity, but remain a problem year-round, according to pest experts. “The incidences are increasing,” said Mr R, the operations manager of National Pest Control, with offices in Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah.
“Out of 10 inquiries, seven of them are for bed bugs.”
These bugs are able to survive up to 18 months without food, though they typically seek out nourishment every eight days. When they do, they sneak out of their dark crevices at night, while the rest of the home is fast asleep.
Slippery little buggers
As a result, bed bugs are very difficult to snuff out. Further adding to their cunning, the pests have evolved to resist low level pesticides used to control them, and require several blasts, leading to drastic efforts to exterminate them. Unfortunately, some of these methods have exterminated people instead.
“The Ministry of Environment and Water has increased the limits on the kinds of pesticides available to licensed pest control companies after two of five-month-old triplets died when pest controllers sprayed their neighbour’s home in Ajman in late March,” according to Detrie.
Dubai’s municipality demands that pest controllers disclose the pesticides they are using, as well as their registration certificates, but this hasn’t stopped some “rogue” outfits from taking matters into their own hands.
Taking gas into their own hands
“They treat their own accommodation with this gas, which comes in a tablet form, and then it will kill people sleeping in the next unit,” according to Dr. Alan Dickson, the founder of Ridapest.
These tablets reportedly sold at flower shops are said to be more appropriately used out of doors, for agriculture, though this writer certainly hopes that is not the case. Anything that has the power to kill indoors is bound to be equally toxic outdoors.
“In June, a Nepalese man and a Indian woman were killed in Sharjah after their lodgings were fumigated by colleagues using banned pesticides,” according to Detrie.
Carbon dioxide foam that freezes bugs is considered a friendlier alternative to the killer gas tablets.
“It’s a premium service, but we’ve supplied these treatments to some clients. Our clients can stand in the room next to us while we do the treatment.” said Mr R.
More News from UAE:
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Can UAE Foreign Minister and South African President Jacob Zuma Save The Environment?